Whether you’ve dedicated your whole life to the pursuit of records or whether you’re a relative newcomer you still need to be able to know how to look after your collection and how to store them properly. Here’s a quick guide to how to care for you records (thanks to the US library of National Congress) followed up with some of the different storage solutions that are out there…
Looking After Your Vinyl Records
Vinyl records are not high maintenance but do require looking after, storing them properly takes a little effort but it’s worth it in the long run.
Why Is It Important To Look After My Records?
Records are manufactured from materials that can sometimes be chemically unstable, don’t panic too much over this but records left in a damp place for example for a long period can cause the inner bag to react with the vinyl rendering the record unplayable.
Vinyl Record Storage Basics
Always stack your records vertically
Never lay them flat as excessive weight can warp (bend) the vinyl
Ensure that your shelving/storage solution is able to support the weight (vinyl records are heavy)
Collapsed shelving can damage a whole collection, it can also damage YOU
The records on your shelf should be accompanied by sturdy, immovable dividers placed every 4 to 6 inches. These dividers should support as much of the face of the record in its sleeve as possible.
Vinyl Record Storage: The Environment
Your vinyl record collection should always be kept at room temperature, ensure that the room is dry as damp is the enemy of records.
Don’t store them in direct sunlight/bright lights as this fades the sleeves/covers and excessive heat can warp the vinyl
Keep your records well away from radiators, vents and any other sources of heat.
Vinyl Record Storage – Temperature and Humidity
The US Library of Congress recommends to store your records at 46-50Â° F with 30-40% relative humidity.
Vinyl Record Packaging
Always use high density polyethylene sleeves. Any other covering will damage your vinyl record – chemically. That includes the paper sleeves that often come with the album!
Vinyl Record Storage Containers
Storage boxes for vinyl records should be made of acid- and lignin-free paper stock or cardboard.
Avoid storage containers that retain static charge. Wood over metal.
And finally, don’t stack your records too tightly together. Give them some room to breathe.
IKEA Expedit range (RIP) had for years been the default setting for the vinyl record collector, however, this has now been replaced with the Kallax, these are cheap, sturdy (relatively) easy to assemble and come in a range of colours.
If you want to try something different, why not try these?
eil.com – the world’s best online store for rare, collectable and out of print Vinyl Records, CDs & Music memorabilia since 1987